Protective effects of apocynin and allopurinol on ischemia/reperfusion-induced liver injury in mice

Ping Guo Liu, Song Qing He, Yan Hong Zhang, Jian Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Aim: To determine the effects of allopurinol, an inhibitor I of xanthine oxidase, and apocynin, an inhibitor of NADPH oxidase, on oxidant stress and liver injury caused by hepatic ischernia/reperfusion (I/R) procedure in mice. Methods: Mice were pretreated with a xanthine oxidase inhibitor, allopurinol, or NADPH oxidase (NOX) inhibitor, apocynin before the hepatic I/R procedure. Then treated or untreated mice underwent the hepatic I/R procedure. The effects on hepatic injury and superoxide anions were determined after starting reperfusion. Results: A standard warm hepatic I/R procedure led to a marked increase in superoxide anion production as indicated by a superoxide anion tracer, MCLA. At the same time, the procedure caused profound acute liver injury, as indicated by elevated serum alanine aminotransferase and tumor necrosis factor-α levels, reduced liver glutathione levels and elevated malondialdehyde contents, as well as a high apoptotic cell count. All these changes were reversed by the use of apocynin or allopurinol prior to the hepatic I/R procedure. Conclusion: Allopurinol and apocynin exerted protective effects on hepatic ischemia/reperfusion injury. The protection is associated with blocking the generation of superoxide anions during the hepatic I/R procedure by inhibiting xanthine oxidase and NADPH oxidase activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2832-2837
Number of pages6
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number18
StatePublished - May 14 2008


  • Allopurinol
  • Apocynin
  • Ischemia/reperfusion
  • NADPH oxidase
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Xanthine oxidase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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